Museveni trek tourism venture
Tourism Ministry to set up Museums along President Museveni’s trek routes. Photo/PPU

Godfrey Kiwanda: Tourism Ministry to set up Museums along President Museveni’s trek routes

President Museveni symbolic trek to mark freedom fighter’s heroic sacrifices for patriotism to be turned into a tourism venture according to minister Kiwanda.

Godfrey Kiwanda, the State Minister for Tourism addressing trekkers at Bukomero, Kiboga District said that Tourism Ministry is going to document Museveni trek and set up at least three museums along the 195km route.

“We want to have it (trek) documented as the Tourism Ministry. That is why my entire key members are here; Uganda Tourism Board and Uganda Museum,” Kiwanda said. “We are also going to build a museum in Nakaseke, Kiboga, Kakumiro districts and Kabamba because that’s our history.”

In his remarks, Kiwanda says it will be a talking Museveni trek as one move and then later the Tourism Ministry will also give a chance for other people to make contributions officially.

“It has to be a talking trek in that as one move, there is either someone or posts to show what happened at a given point,” Kiwanda said.

“I have had the chance to see the reality on the ground and after this, we shall get back and see how we can officially launch trek,” he added.

Continuing, Kiwanda said that war survivors, in this case, will serve as tour guides to give first-hand information and will be paid for their service.

“Once we are done with what we call ‘product identification,’ we shall get the guides, the survivors to give the first-hand narrative, and all these will be paid for their service,” said Kiwanda.

Also, Kiwanda said the government is going to construct lodges along the trek routes to provide accommodation services to tourists.

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minister Kiwanda Museveni trek
Ministry to set up Museums along Museveni’s trek routes

And the Tourism Ministry will have a task of engaging tourism actors to create awareness about the new tourism centre to people in the diaspora.

“We, therefore, intend to invite the tour operators so that they can start publicising and marketing the idea so the people in the diaspora may get to know about it. This trek helps us achieve that,” said Kiwanda.

However, Kiwanda says People who failed to participate in President Museveni trek missed out a lot particularly the economic development that has taken place ever since then.

“You have missed to have a feel or see the economic growth registered in these areas since the war ended. We noticed that people have since constructed better housing facilities, and have better farmlands and improved road network. This place was initially a bush,” said Kiwanda.

Kiwanda as well explained the reason why they are going through the seven districts and ending up in Bureembo. He says it’s because the bush warfighters base was at Bureembo while they attacked Kabamba barracks.

“We started from Galamba because, in 1985, President Museveni summoned the rebels while there so that they could engage government in negotiations. However, one of the officers that were sent as a representative in the negotiations was killed by the government,” said Kiwanda.

He adds that;

“So after that government killed him, the fighters resolved to intensify the fighting. A group of about 1,500 fighters set off, went through Bukatira, Semuto and crossed River Mayanja to Kapeeka, Kakinga, Masiriba, Bukomero, and Kyamusisi.”

He continued to state that when the NRA fighters current Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) reached Kyamusisi, they were identified and this caused a setback in their move.

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And the group was split into two. One led by now Gen Salim Saleh, and another led by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni current President of the Republic of Uganda, a brother to Saleh.

“This was a tactical move meant to make it hard for a government that wanted to track and defeat the rebels. The government army followed Museveni while the other group went to Kabamba,” Kiwanda narrated.

“Later, the government was shocked to learn Kabamba had been attacked and that is how rebels attained the heavy ammunition.”